New Jersey Governor Chris Christie • Lauding President Obama’s attentiveness in the face of Hurricane Sandy, in an interview on Fox and Friends this morning. Christie’s rhetoric on the President’s leadership abilities hasn’t always been so glowing — back in May, he excoriated Obama as “walking around in a dark room trying to find the light switch of leadership.” But now, faced with a climactic disaster in his state, Christie and Obama have made nice, to the vast betterment of the citizens of his state. Obviously, holding off on political rivalries during such a chaotic and traumatic event is the right thing to do, but Christie deserves a major measure of credit for recognizing Obama’s efforts for his state. When asked whether Mitt Romney would tour some storm sites, he went much further than he needed to, showing a sincerity unbound by partisan priority: “…I have no idea, nor am I the least bit concerned or interested. I’ve got a job to do here in New Jersey that’s much bigger than presidential politics and I could care less about any of that stuff.” source (via shortformblog)
So, I came across an article this morning about an odd oil-rig protest as part of my morning read. A handful of activists are protesting the first ever oil rig in the Arctic sea. They’ve literally tied themselves to the side of big tanker ship in the Arctic.
Yeah, bizarre but it’s true. Greenpeace is live blogging it now. The Russian Coast Guard has been called in and the protesters will be in big trouble, I’m sure of it.
The oil rig is run by the largest natural gas company in the world, called Gazprom. It’s also Russia’s largest company. They’re also one of the most pollutive, hazardous companies on planet Earth. I didn’t know any of this until this morning. What do you think can be done?
Federal law allows the Agriculture Department to buy meat and poultry products to help farmers and ranchers affected by natural disasters.
The announcement came as Obama criticized Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan for blocking a farm bill that could help farmers cope with the drought. Obama touted his efforts to help farmers as he began a three-day tour of the battleground state he won in 2008.
“That will help ranchers who are going through tough times right now,” Obama said.
Obama said the government would boost its purchases of meat now, while prices are low, and freeze much of it for later use.
The USDA plans to buy up to $100 million of additional pork products, $50 million of chicken, $10 million of lamb and $10 million of catfish. The Defense Department, a large purchaser of beef, pork and lamb, was expected to look for ways to encourage its vendors to speed up purchases of meat.
“The purchases will help mitigate further downward prices, stabilize market conditions and provide high quality, nutritious food to recipients of USDA nutrition programs,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement.
The USDA has spent about $37 million on pork products so far this year. If it spends an additional $100 million, that would be more than twice what the agency spent on pork in 2011.
Obama has pledged a wide-ranging response to the drought. His administration is giving farmers and ranchers access to low-interest emergency loans, opening more federal land for grazing and distributing $30 million to get water to livestock.
Good reporting on government handouts to private businesses via CBS.
Google has set up a user-generated Person Finder tool and a Crisis Map for the Philippine floods.
It also has resources and links to data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the Philippine Red Cross, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, as well as information on shelters and evacuation facilities, donation centers, weather updates, YouTube videos, and the flooding extent of the Marikina River.
Google earlier created similar tools and resource databases during the onslaught of Sendong in Mindanao last year, as well as during the Japan earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear leak disaster.
More on ABS-CBNNews.com.
Maps and satellite imagery
- Google Person Finder now in Filipino after floods (siliconrepublic.com)
- Google Person Finder helping to find missing in Philippine floods (news.cnet.com)
- Google Posts Crisis Response Page for Victims and Families of 2012 Philippines Flood (socialtimes.com)
- Google re-launches its People Finder tool to assist those dealing with the Philippines floods (thenextweb.com)
- You: Philippine capital hit by floods (bbc.co.uk)
- Floods rise in the Philippines as residents relocate from Manila amid torrential rains - @CNNi (edition.cnn.com)
- Manila suffers severe flooding following torrential rainfall (guardian.co.uk)